Sidney took in everything in the room with a heavy heart. The pale white walls, the equally pale blue curtain and the dreadful, rhythmic beeping of machines did nothing to calm his thunderous thoughts. There’s no one to blame but himself; his stubbornness and his wrecked self-esteem were the cause of it all. And all combined they sparked a rashness that resulted in hurting the one person whom he loves the most.
As he sat there, his thought wandered back to six months ago, where the circumstances were reversed. He was the one laying helplessly on the white sheets of the hospital bed. The first thing he remembered when he opened his eyes was seeing Geno’s face looking down at him with so much eagerness and relief, but also laced with worry. He can tell by the furrows on Geno’s forehead and he yearned to kiss them away. But for some reason he was really tired, and that he could hardly keep his eyes open. The last thing he remembered was smiling up at Geno before eventually giving in into a slumber again.
The next time he opened his eyes, his vision was filled with one too many faces whom he didn’t recognise. He belatedly registered that as strange, seeing that all of them were dressed impeccably in long, white coats and speaking to each other in hushed tones. Then came the unmistakable smell of sterilized air which hit his senses like a punch. And at that moment, as if a proverbial light bulb had lighted up in his head, the reason behind Geno's odd expression had become clear.
He immediately looked for Geno, his eyes darted across the room in search of him, needing him close. He tried calling out for him, but he couldn’t find his voice, for his throat felt really raw, like he’s swallowed mouthful after mouthful of sand. As if Geno could feel his distress, he appeared next to him by his bed, one hand clutching his arm gently and the other soothing the side of his head. He didn’t realise how tense he'd become until he felt it draining away with every caress of Geno's warm hand. With a sigh, he couldn't help but thought about how much love he has for this man.
But the moment was soon interrupted by one of the people in the white coats, and this one clearly the most senior of the bunch, with his neatly trimmed goatee and thin-rimmed glasses hanging low on his nose. He introduced himself as Dr. Cohen, the head neurologist of the hospital before proceeding to name each of the other unfamiliar faces in the room. He stopped paying attention after the third name for he didn’t think it was necessary. A part of him couldn’t believe how many of them there were. Surely he didn’t need a whole team of doctors buzzing about in the room for a little fainting spell, but he neither had the voice nor the energy to say anything. That was until he caught on to what was actually being said.
“—a little disorientated, especially after being dormant for such a prolonged period of time. We would of course need to run some scans to determine if there’s any permanent damage but judging by the preliminary tests, Mr Crosby, things are looking rather encouraging."
He wanted to ask what he meant by prolonged period of time but was startled by the door being slammed open suddenly, revealing his family on the other side. His sister was the first to run over to him with a look of disbelief, and subsequently burst into tears. His parents trailed gently behind her with big smiles on their faces, but they looked like they’ve been crying too.
He couldn’t pinpoint it but he knew something was not right. All of a sudden his head throbbed, the lights in the room became too bright, and he felt the earth tilting beneath him. A wave of nausea washed over him like a blanket of cold ice but it went away as quickly as it came. Even with his eyes closed he could sense that everyone was starting to freak out. But he was of absolute no use to them because right then his brain was in overdrive. It felt like his head was going to explode from the flooding of faces and memories and voices, all merging into one giant, excruciating blob.
Then, as if someone had elbowed him in the gut, he gasped for air like he was drowning. For he might as well be, as he soon came to realization of the strangeness he’d felt since the moment he opened his eyes.
A gnawing feeling swallowing him up whole.